Michael Essien is only 29-years-old but he has been at Chelsea for seven years and is part of their old guard.
That is why he is sometimes included in the lists of players Andre Villas-Boas or Roberto di Matteo have ‘bravely’ left out of the side.
But the sad truth is rather different. Essien is not a vocal player nor one of those who is active in the club’s political manoeuvring.
When he is left out it is surely because managers, like everyone else, can see that a nasty run of serious injuries has left the midfielder a shadow of his former self.
The service provided by ‘The Train’ is not what it once was. Those driving runs and all-action displays seem to be a thing of the past.
Maybe Essien just needs some time after his last injury to get back to his best.
Let’s hope so because, while he can still contribute, Chelsea could do with the amazing athlete and player he was when at the top of his game.
In the meantime, they have to make do with John Obi Mikel, who has always promised to be a great holding player but never quite delivered.
Oriol Romeu has shown amazing potential, too, but has faded from view, not playing for Chelsea since the beginning of February.
The purchase of a new defensive midfielder could be an item to add to the club’s list of jobs for the end of the season.
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